Love is out there!

My newest book, about Love, is now out in The Netherlands! It is a colorful, funny, semi-autobiographical and informational comic about all the ins and outs of love – with dating tips, a critical look at romance, notes on sex, kids, the seven year itch and a whole lot more!

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This month is all about book promotion – there will be an official presentation in bookstore Scheltema in Amsterdam on February 9, then I will be at YaYCon on 19 February where I’ll sell the book and be on a panel, and on 4 and 5 March I’ll be at De Stripdagen in Rijswijk.

love-banner

It feels a bit strange. The world is on fire at the moment, every day seems to bring new fear and anger, and here I am, trying to generate attention for something as silly and trivial as love…

But is it? Is Love not exactly the thing that is lacking in the world right now? Is it not what all the protests are about? About this great unifying force that seems to be under threat? Is it not what all people really want – to love and be loved, and to have a safe place where to do just that? It goes beyond left or right, beyond politics and culture. Love is of all times, of all people. And yet, it’s still this mysterious energy, or as I say in my book [SPOILER ALERT]: “Love is an everyday mystery.”

So I’ll just give in to it, and make sure to enjoy it: after all, this book is also a celebration of the love in my life, with Yiri in the center, and a great circle of beloved family and friends around us.

There’s nothing wrong in reminding ourselves every now and then.

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(our marriage in 2009, p. 77)

 

Not My President

Technically, Donald Trump will not be MY president, but since the world is dealing with so many global issues and the US is a key player his presidency affects everyone. Like many others, I am deeply concerned.

not-our-president

I drew this comic as a submission for protest newspaper Resist! – it did not make the cut though, so I hope it will spread online.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Many best wishes to everyone this Christmas and let’s hope for a New Year with many new chances and opportunities for good. The past year was discomforting in many ways – it even affected my comic character Minnie, who’s usually pretty carefree…

minnie-freedom

 

Here’s the New Year’s card Yiri and I have sent out this year – it’s based on a New Year’s card from 1917, exactly 100 years ago! It references voting because that’s what we’re going to do in The Netherlands in a few months.

2017

Another book out in Korea

I’m proud to announce that my fourth graphic novel, World Domination: a Discovery in Comics, has hit bookstores in South Korea.

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Below are the pages with architect Aad Breed and his pyramid cities – I hope these cities get built one day, it’s an awesome and potentially life-saving design:

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It’s weird and thrilling to see my own pictures paired with (to me) totally unintelligible text. I understand that the title of the book in Korean translates to ‘If I Ruled the World‘, but that’s as far as my knowledge goes.

It also means I cannot read the Korean reviews. Putting text through Google Translate usually hardly clarifies things. Although I think I understand and like the first paragraph of the review on this site, which translates as:

Wonder Box new comic cartoon “If I dominate the world,” I invite readers to ask questions in a timely manner, and to experiment with misguided thinking. We all try to imagine it once, but rarely push the imagination to the next level. I have a complicated head right now. The author, however, made an interesting social inquiry cartoon while embodying his own imagination while remaining confused.

“Embodying my own imagination while remaining confused” – yeah, that sums up a lot of what I do.

At the same time, my fifth book, about Love, is about to go to press in The Netherlands – publication date in February. Busy times!

 

The Coloring Process

I live in the fortunate circumstance that my husband Yiri is also an artist and helps me with my books. Not only does he provide necessary feedback and peptalks, he has taken on the coloring ever since 2009, when we started Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics.

Since then, he has colored Religion, Science – which almost killed him (no kidding! He had a heart attack while we were working on that 192-page monster) – and World Domination. It took a lot from his health and especially caused chronic shoulder and neck pains. So we decided to do things differently for the book about Love; after all, too much love will kill you, as the song says.

Our coloring process in the last year has been this:

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We’re in the last phase of the book now, the deadline for the publisher is next month. So far, this new routine is fast, fun and relatively stress-free. And Yiri is not half dead, which is a great relief to both of us.

Finishings

When making a graphic novel, there are many milestones that can be celebrated with a heart-felt: “Finished!”. There’s the moment all the pages are drawn; then when they are all digitalized, lettered and put in the right order; when they’re all colored; when the file is sent to the publisher; when the file is sent to the printer’s; and then, finally, when the actual book arrives and can be held in my greedy hands. Finished!

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Yiri and I especially celebrate the first finishing: when all the pages are drawn. It has become tradition to make a little doodle in a tiny booklet, marking time and date.

Here’s the first Finishing, in 2009, when we made Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics:

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This one was drawn a year later, in 2010, when finishing Religion: a Discovery in Comics:

religion

Science: a Discovery in Comics was a heavy one – it was finished in the summer of 2012:

science

The fourth book, about World Domination, is not out in the States yet, but I have just made an info page on my site if you want to take a look. This is how I felt when finishing it, in 2015:

worlddomination

And just a few weeks ago, the last pages of the book about Love were drawn!

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We’re now in the process of finishing up the other finishings: the colors, the text corrections, the index etc. But those are minor finishings – the big one is out of the way!

Here’s another drawing from the little book, by the way, the only one in English:

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Words to live by!